Appreciation Award- Fred Deckert

Mary Jean Yon

Some of the volunteer jobs that get done in our club are done best by those who have drifted away from logging training and racing miles but still want to be a part of the club scene. Tonight’s recognition focuses on one of three people that perform a great service…completely voluntarily…for those who love to capture that special race moment in a photograph. Big city races contract with professional photographers who charge you an arm and a leg for that finish line shot and jealously guard their rights to their work. Gulf Winds has three volunteers that never ask for a penny and share their photos freely on the club web site, often before the weekend of the race has concluded.

There’s a bit of irony about the one photographer that’s being singled out and appreciated tonight. While researching and fact checking for this award presentation, the November 1991 issue of the Fleet Foot surfaced and there he was, a serious runner no doubt bearing down on some finish line. He did not have that look of pain and anguish that he so often catches me with, and I promise you, both of his feet were off the ground in the photo! Truly he is a runner comfortable and within himself. Twelve years later, he would take over the job of Fleet Foot editor and have the luxury of using his own photos for those cover shots.

Tonight’s award is primarily intended to recognize this man for the endless hours he has spent photographing area races. Yes, it’s true he is there rain or shine snapping those photos no matter how hot or cold it is. But his work is not over after the photo shoot. We also need to thank him for the many hours it takes each month to compile, edit and publish our monthly newsletter. Thank you, Fred Deckert, for all you do!